what will the smartphone market bring us?

The year 2020 was a noisy year, we like to look ahead to the new year. What improvements and innovations can we expect in 2021? DroidApp gives you a preview.

What will 2021 bring?

We have again written a lot of news in 2020. We have summarized that for you in various articles. Think of The best of DroidApp in 2020, the Android annual overview 2020 and the 25 best apps of 2020. That year is now behind us and we are focusing on 2021. What will this year bring us in the telephone field? Where are the innovations?


In terms of innovation, we expect 2021 to be the year in which we see the first phones with an under-display camera. In recent times, reports have surfaced several times from, for example, Xiaomi and Samsung about this. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is said to be the first Samsung to have a camera behind the screen. However, we do not expect this innovation widely, so you are expected to only encounter this in the very expensive devices. If the technology is more established, we may encounter it in the well-known high-end smartphones, but that will take a while.

We may not see innovation reflected in the materials used in devices. There are already reports that the new Galaxy S21 and S21 + will simply have a plastic housing. That’s a step back, when you compare that to the metal and glass and sometimes even ceramic housings of previous models.

We already talked about the Galaxy Z Fold 3. We may see more foldable smartphones this year. An example of this could be; the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 2. Perhaps other brands also have ideas about a foldable phone, or perhaps LG again with striking housings as we saw with the LG Wing. We have also seen several reports about phones with a retractable screen. We do not consider it impossible that we will see the first (concept) model this year.

Whether we should call it innovation is difficult, but something that will change is the content of the sales package. Apple has previously chosen not to supply new smartphones with a charger, and Samsung is expected to follow with the Galaxy S21 series. The same became clear with the announcement of the Xiaomi Mi 11. Consumers in China can choose between a package without and a package with a charger for the Mi 11. An interesting development. Especially since not everyone has a charger that can handle the latest high speeds for charging your device. With such an expensive smartphone, do we have to dig even deeper into the pouch to be able to use fast charging, or does the manufacturer price the device a bit cheaper? We suspect the former.

OnePlus 8 Pro Wireless Charging

Fast charging

In 2021, the fast charging of a smartphone will be even more central. In 2020 we already saw the Oppo Find X2 series and the OnePlus 8T and Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra with 65W wired fast charging. There are even reports about 100W fast charging at Xiaomi. It saves so much time if you still have to leave the house, and you can pump a lot of power into the battery. We now see devices with 30W fast charging at Motorola, just like with OnePlus.

Samsung will stick to 25W even with the Galaxy S21 series. That is already more powerful than the 18W charger in the S20 series, but we certainly hope to see improvement in this this year. The same applies to wireless charging of smartphones, which may also have to be faster.

OnePlus 5G header


4G is far from extinct, but we will have more to do with 5G in 2021. It is still relatively in its infancy. The auction of the fast 5G frequencies will not start until the beginning of 2022. Although there is now faster internet, the benefits can be counted on one hand. For example, we wrote in the 5G issue on DroidApp, in which we address the question of whether it is really useful to purchase a 5G device now.

Later in the year 2020, we saw that more and more manufacturers released cheaper 5G devices, in the middle segment. That will continue this year. Among other things, the new Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 series will reportedly have 5G, and will also come to the Benelux. Other brands are also busy.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE notifications


When it comes to rolling out updates, there is real work to be done for most manufacturers. It remains ridiculous that you buy a device for a few hundred euros and only get one Android update in return. We see this reflected in, for example, the OnePlus Nord N10 and the many Motorola devices. This really needs to be improved and we hope that the collaboration between Qualcomm and Google for 4 years of OS updates will provide a breakthrough in this. Samsung has at least understood it better. In any case, they give the S series Android updates for three years. Manufacturers would appreciate it if they each clarify what we can expect from them in terms of updates, and this could all be a bit more generous with different brands.

Honor 10 Lite vs Huawei P Smart 2019 back cover

Huawei and Honor

The situation around Huawei remains worrisome. For now, US sanctions against the company are still in place, and it is unknown what this will look like in the future. Is Joe Biden going to ease sanctions? That is not known. The situation has now been going on for almost two years. Huawei is fully committed to its own AppGallery, but can still not measure itself as well as with the Google Play Store. The ambition is certainly there at Huawei, but there is still a long way to go. And it is hoped that the US will revise the rules one day and, for example, let Google just work with Huawei.

Things look a bit brighter for Honor, which was acquired by a Chinese Consortium in 2020. This allows it to do business again with various American companies, including Google. As soon as the entire acquisition is completed, the brand wants to make announcements right away, Honor confirmed earlier. We are curious!

Huawei Mate 40 Pro review

Other news

In 2020 it was announced that the Mobile World Congress has been postponed from 2021 to June, where it was previously always held in February. We are curious whether it can continue this year, and whether it will happen in the well-known form. In addition, the question is whether manufacturers who usually present their devices in the spring, wait with an announcement until the start of the annual spectacle in Barcelona.

In 2021 we will again see several gems. Consider the Galaxy S21 series, which is expected on January 14. But also the OnePlus 9 series that will consist of at least three models, the Oppo Find X3 series, new devices from Sony and of course a lot of Xiaomi devices with confusing double names. Realme has also recently become (limited) active in the Dutch market and we expect to see more of this in the coming year.

We look forward to what this year will bring us. This year we will again be committed with great enthusiasm! Don’t want to miss anything? Then follow us on the different channels Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Instagram. And the DroidApp App that you can download from the Google Play Store via the button below.

DroidApp - Android news
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